Baking for the Gold

The Great British Baking Show is popular among my circles, and I dearly love it. The items they bake are usually beautifully done with an interesting flare tossed in here and there. They get a week to prepare so they get to really make their entries their own. The hosts are so campily funny, and the judges are polite in their critiques, all four show a caring for the contestants, as they go around talking to the different bakers throughout, offering advice or asking pointed questions. The hosts will even come to help if there’s been a spill, or sometimes break something off in a decidedly unhelpful way. The interesting thing is that the contestants are just as helpful. They’re there to do their best.

American competition shows can delve deep into the nastier type of competition. Competitors manipulating, insulting, on occasion attacking, all things that I don’t wish to invite into my life. I don’t watch a ton of competition/reality shows, but the ones I’ve seen in the US are some usually offer up all and more if you watch long enough. The same can be said about Brazil. A friend of mine was watching the show with me when I didn’t feel well and was amazed at the behavior of the contestants. “In Brazil, they would be all loud and mean, none of this nice.”

Looking at shows themselves we must accept that some the national stereotypes are true and will play into the thought process. The British are reserved, Americans are obsessed with winning, and Brazilians are overflowing with emotion. Keeping that in mind, we are all still human. You don’t have to be a dick to win the game.

International Student Group

Really think about it. Competition is a driving force, humans are naturally competitive. Even in our educational systems are fraught with all this competition adding to the bullying around the world. We are brought up in our schools to think that this is Ok, it’s just a part of socialization, all you have to do is ‘be better’ That be better doesn’t mean lashing out at those around you, but the culture doesn’t enforce that across the board. So we all grow up, many to be complete a-holes if anyone is in competition with them, perceived or real.

We honestly do not need to be mean or otherwise show appalling behavior just because you’re in a competition. We could be honorable, but that’s not a thing anymore, sadly. It wouldn’t hurt to play an episode or two of The Great British Baking Show, it’s pretty popular. Look at how the contestants are there to present their best effort, not take others down. I’ve often noted when a baker with time left will come over to assist another contestant who is having some trouble. That shows what I feel is the correct way to compete. After thinking about it, The Biggest Loser presents much of the same attitude, but I think that’s more of a forced intimacy during a time of group torture.

The shows are quite edited, and I’m sure there are times with strife behind the scenes and all friendly competition up front. That’s seen in another, larger, competition. The Olympics. Edited for public consumption, the broadcast shows no mocking of another Olympian, as far as I can tell. However, behind the scenes are far too many aggressive feelings, assaults, and the like. The competition between the fans gets even more interesting. More needless suffering.

What is the point of belittling sabotaging, or otherwise harming others exactly? You do what you do, as best you can, and live with the result. It’s not someone else’s fault that you didn’t do better and insulting or threatening in private to stop them just shows your lack of confidence. It makes you look weak.

It’s like arguing in a marriage, one you don’t plan on leaving. You don’t want to say something that you’ll pay for the rest of your life, you want to continue your relationship, so you focus on the issue at hand, not the other person. Personal attacks just make everything go up a notch or two. Instead, we focus on the issue or situation that is causing strife. 100% nothing personal.

The kind can compete and win, just like anyone else.

Current Weight Loss: 180lbs -5.4lbs – I have spent the day with full permission to eat what I wanted, and after a few bites of donuts I realized I didn’t want much beyond my healthier selections. While I admit to taking down a Whole Foods 2 bite brownie bag (24g sugar total), I also pride myself that there’s 7/8 of a fritter still in the bag. I wonder what this will do for my weigh in tomorrow.

Interesting Finds:

Japanese student that received the highest marks. His fellow students lifting him up in traditional celebration.

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